This thesis investigates manufacturer-distributor power relationship in the Chinese Iron and Steel Industry. The main objectives of this study are to identify, describe and investigate the power relationships in Chinese Iron and Steel Industry; to understand the concept of power from the perspective of distributors and their relationship with State-Owned Enterprises and Private-Owned Enterprises in this industry; and to explore the possibility of developing an extended research power-relationship framework by investigating the power construct and potentially related and relevant factors in the Chinese market that may impact predicted outcomes such as positive conflict resolution attitude and levels of conflict. Two quantitative pilot studies were conducted, consisting of 14 surveys with semi-structured questions each, which were instrumental in the design of an extended power relationship model by incorporating the factors such as the level of trust, frequency of communication and level of guanxi that drive positive conflict resolution attitude into the traditional power model that had not been combined in a single framework before. Subsequently, the main study was carried out comprising 148 questionnaires completed by distributor firm managers. These represent the views of 74 respondents, who responded for both state-owned enterprises and private-owned enterprises in the Chinese Iron and Steel Industry The sample size is 74 respondents including 14 respondents that were also respondents for the pilot studies.This study generated four main findings. 1) a State-Owned Enterprises tend to use more non-coercive power than Private-Owned Enterprises, and have a stronger negative effect than Private-Owned Enterprises; 2) although Private-Owned Enterprises were rated higher than State-Owned Enterprises in the level of trust, and have a stronger positive effect when explaining the observed relationship between the level of trust and positive conflict resolution attitude, the difference is really minimal; 3) Private-Owned Enterprises were rated higher than State-Owned Enterprises in the frequency of communication, and have a stronger positive effect than State-Owned Enterprises in the explanation of the relationship between frequency of communication and positive conflict resolution attitude. 4) Private-Owned Enterprises were rated higher than State-Owned Enterprises in the level of guanxi, and have stronger positive effect than State-Owned Enterprises in the explanation of the relationship between level of guanxi and positive conflict resolution attitude. These findings contribute to fill gaps in the literature with regard to power relationships in distribution channels. This thesis extends the current boundary of knowledge through the formulation of an extended framework that integrates conflict resolution constructs into a typical/traditional power model. This extended framework comprises new constructs such as level of trust, frequency of communication and level of guanxi and hypothesises their impact on conflict resolution attitude and level of conflict in the Chinese distribution channel. New knowledge is created by investigating differences regarding the use of power by SOEs and POEs considered from the distributor perspective in the Chinese context. Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed in detail.
|Date of Award||1 Aug 2016|
- The University of Manchester
|Supervisor||Claudio De Mattos (Supervisor) & Nitin Sanghavi (Supervisor)|
- Power Relationships, Coercive Power, Non-coercive Power, Conflict, Satisfaction, Positive Conflict Resolution Attitude, Trust, Guanxi Communication
- State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs), Private-Owned Enterprises (POEs), Distributors, Iron and Steel Industry in China